Re: Jewish Converts #general

Joseph Hirschfield

A parent or grandparent who is a Levi or Kohen had that designation by
birth and could not acquire it legitimately through conversion or adoption.
In modern times Levi and Kohen families who adopt have given the Levi and
Kohen designation to their adopted children out of ignorance or to avoid
informing an adopted child of the fact of his adoption. Locally, I asked a
conservative rabbi why he does not correct a parishioner who has adopted a
child and the child thinks he is a Levi, even being called to the Torah as ha
Levi. The rabbi said he was going to a conference of rabbis and would
bring up the subject there. When he returned I asked what he had learned and
he informed me that all of the rabbis he talked with were loath to undo what
a parent had done. Maybe this was the attitude that existed also in times
gone by, but it is no longer possible to say conclusively that a Kohen of
today is in a direct link back to Aaron. Only a blood test for Kohen DNA
can establish that. I don't know about Levi DNA.

Joe Hirschfield
Portage, MI
Glinyany, Sielec Bienkow, Jaryczow Nowy-GALICIA

In a message dated 2/20/2010 writes:
... is it possible for Jews whose parents or grandparents are called ha-levi or
ha-cohen to have been converts or does that designation mean that they could not
possibly have been converts?

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